U2000, General College, Waseca, Resource Centered Management, CUFS accounting — Hasselmo’s tricked you before, and you aren’t falling for it this time. Plus, you can’t stand to see someone crying in front of the glory of Eastcliff. You walk toward the man and reach out your hand in consolation.
“It’s not fair,” he says through his tears. “The place is falling apart, and I’ll never get away with remodeling it.”
What? you think. The moon moves from behind the trees and you see the man more clearly. The distinguished profile, the serious expression, the glare of the moon from the top of his head — it’s Mark Yudof, the University’s next president.
Now that you know who it is, you suddenly feel more sorry for him than ever. “Yeah. Remodeling’s probably not a good idea. Taxpayers just don’t understand. They don’t even want to build new stadia,” you say.
“And — and — ”
You hand him a tissue from your pocket.
“And when I saw a ticket to Baja outside Willey Hall, I guess I just snapped. I thought, ‘I can get away. I can go someplace where it’s warm, and I’m not facing a $100 million dollar lawsuit.’
“But then I thought, what if I was caught with this ticket? Who would want a leading administrator who steals tickets for spring break?”
You mention that the University of Texas at Austin presidency is open. A new gale of tears makes you realize you said the wrong thing.
“But this is where I’ve been hired, and this is where I’ll stay. It might sound crazy, but I believe in this place. I think we can do something special here,” he says. You nod.
“So I’ve been trying to get you this ticket, but you keep running away and running into things.”
“So it is you,” you say. “But what about the bag of books.”
“I was swinging my new coloring book, all carefree because I’d found you. You should watch where you’re going.”
“And the test?”
“Every test this week has the word ‘Pillsbury’ in it somewhere. It’s a bidfor corporate sponsorship. During spring quarter we’re placing a 75-foot Doughboy in front of Coffman.”
“I didn’t notice.”
“I hope you didn’t have too many tests.”
It all makes sense now. You give Yudof a hug as he hands you your ticket. Your plane leaves soon, but Yudof summons a limo to take you to the airport.
You hear the final call for your flight as you enter your gate, and faster than O.J. in a Hertz commercial you complete check-in. Your entrance to the plane is blocked by five distinguished-looking individuals bickering over a seemingly unimportant topic — you swear you saw them in news reports about tenure last fall.
You move past them and take your seat. The woman next to you is doing a crossword puzzle.
“How many g’s are there in ‘bugs’?” she asks. “One or two?”
“There aren’t enough g’s to get him out of prison,” you reply. You begin to daydream about sunnier skies and a beautiful spring as the pilot speaks over the intercom.
“Jeezo Beezo, ladies and gentlemen! I’m your pilot for the day! You may consider this a Northwest flight, but I’m new to this job and I like to call it ‘Air Wacker.’ Jeezo Beezo! Well, it looks like we’ll have a turbulent flight, but with heart and effort we’ll be headin’ to the Rose Bowl — er, Baja! Jeezo Beezo … ”
You check your watch. It’s a long flight, but you’re ready. It’s been a tough finals week — a tough year, actually — but you’ve earned a well-deserved break.
And as your flight ascends into the clouds you can’t help but think that, when you’re energy’s restored and you’ve successfully completed your spring break adventure, you’ll be ready to come back for more. You’re excited to be off to Baja — but there truly is no place like home.
HAPPY SPRING BREAK FROM THE MINNESOTA DAILY.